April 21, 2009


-Zane, Kayla and Raith. Kayla showing off her mother's Norwegian childhood dress.-

"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."
-- Eva Burrows


"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero."

-Such cute kids.-

"Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet."
-- Vietnamese Proverb


"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
-- Desmond Tutu


"I am smiling because you are my sister. I am laughing because there is nothing you can do about it!"

-Raith, all grown up.-

"Being family means being there for each other."

April 13, 2009

Green Power

While visiting Saskatchewan we decided to take an early morning trip out to inspect the Wind Power Facility just south of the city of Swift Current. We'd seen wind turbines like these before but only from a distance and we'd never actually ventured close enough to see what they were all about. When we stepped out of our truck at the sleepy hour of 6:30am (I know what you're thinking but that IS early for a holiday) we were awed by the sheer size of these giants and amazed at the power of their blades. It was humbling to stand below this behemoth of a turbine and look up 30 stories to the slicing blades. Each pass of a blade prompting the instinct to duck and causing our hearts to race a little faster. And, while we found it terribly fascinating, Kimchi was not at all impressed. Kimchi showed an awesome respect for these giants, cowering in their shadow and fleeing from the sound of their blades as they sliced through the air like three very large razors.

I'll admit that we are ignorant of the efficiency of wind turbines and of wind power in general, but just knowing that science has moved us to a point where we can harness renewable resources, like wind, is reassuring. Undoubtedly there is still a long ways to go before our planet will be able to fully run on sustainable resources, if such a thing could ever be, but we are glad to see what we think to be steps in the right direction.

Interesting Facts:
  • When SaskPower initiated this wind power facility it was to be the largest site in all of Canada.
  • 83 wind turbines produce 150 megawatts (MW) of power or enough electricity to supply 64,000 homes.
  • Each of these wind turbines generates up to 1.8 MW of power.
  • At their highest point, each blade reaches 107 metres... that's about 30 stories above the ground.
  • Each generator's housing (nacelle) is the size of a city bus and weighs 70 tonnes.
  • Each turbine tower is 67 metres tall, and weighs 117 tonnes.
  • When generating power, blades spins at a speed on 17 revolutions per minute, causing the tips to spin at up to 256 km/hr.
  • Wind turbines operate within wind speeds of 15-90km/hr. They reach their full potential at wind speeds of 50 km/hr.
  • 2,500 truckloads of concrete were used in pouring the foundations for these towers.

-If you look closely you'll notice a little dot at the base of the tower. That dot is me.-

April 12, 2009

Land of the Living Skies

-Lonely grain elevators. Neidpath, Saskatchewan.-

This year we were fortunate enough to be home for Easter. And, as mentioned before, we made our way down to Saskatchewan to celebrate with the Olson clan. We greatly enjoyed spending time with our loved ones, praising our saviour together as a family, an Easter egg hunt with the kids, a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings and watching the miracle of Spring unfold. But aside from these traditions, we enjoyed an early morning trip to the countryside in search of ghost towns. And ghost towns we did find.

-Abandoned Church. Neidpath, Saskatchewan.-

The first of the towns, Neidpath, was a town that sprang up in the early 1900's and was named after Neidpath Castle of Peebles, Scotland. As a point of interest Neidpath is now on the list for 'Places with fewer than 10 residents', 'Ghost towns of Canada' and 'Ghost towns of Saskatchewan'. It was in Neidpath that we found these great abandoned grain elevators, an old church, and remnants of a once great car.

-Run-down car. Neidpath, Saskatchewan.-

Hallonquist was the other ghost town we stumbled upon. And, sadly enough, only has two claims to fame: an old dude named Bill Schwartz (who went on to accomplish many great things) and a little rodeo which still takes place every summer.

-Aged Buildings. Rosenhof, Saskatchewan.-

Our morning expedition has left us with a desire to seek out other such destinations. With 231 ghost towns in Saskatchewan and another 168 in Alberta they shouldn't be hard to find.

-Rusty windmill. Saskatchewan.-

April 11, 2009

Easter: Bunnies or Christ?

This weekend we traveled down to Saskatchewan to celebrate our first Easter in three years. Somehow, Easter is missed in Korea. It's understandable that the Confucius society does not recognize or celebrate the resurrection of Christ but we found it a bit odd that the Christian church in Korea could overlook such a day, the day that makes the Christian faith true, the day that gave all man-kind an alternative to the hell that we by nature deserve.

And while we recognize that we've entered back into a society that commercializes Christian holidays, claiming bunnies and chocolate as the reason the celebrate, we are thankful to be back. We enjoyed being home in Canada and the commercialism that we were subjected to seemed to remind us to pray for the state of our county and ourselves. It is somewhat understandable that Korea does not celebrate Easter, considering their roots. But considering ours, it's a shame what we've let this day become.

Not that I want to be the fun police. That's not it at all. Quite the opposite. Celebrate, have fun, eat chocolate (if that's your thing), be with family but do it in the realization that Easter is more than bunnies and more than chocolate. Easter, what Christ accomplished on Easter, is the justification for our hope. 

April 10, 2009

Sunday at the Zoo

-A peaceful shot of a a majestic Snowy Owl.-

Is there a better way to spend a sunny spring Sunday than to head to the zoo with your nephews and enjoy the intriguing sights and unfamiliar sounds?

After two years of missing out on family life we think not. And so, on the first Sunday in April we all ventured down to Calgary to take a peek at the animals, marvel at their habitats and learns about the way of life in their native regions of the world.

-A sleepy little lemur way up in the trees.-

-A part of the monkey house, this little guy was a joy to watch as he tried to eat his dinner of tropical fruit.-

Trevor once again managed to snap a few shots, thanks to D Street's fantastic 300mm lens! We encourage you to check out Dave's photography here: Squidz. While Trev enjoyed using the lens, I enjoyed playing with the boys, walking and talking with Beck, Karalee and Dave and not having to worry about having pictures for a blog.

Again, it's hard to say who enjoyed the day of zoo-going the best: Trevor or the boys.

-And, possibly one of the more unsightly mugs of the day, this vulture resided in the African exhibit right alongside a lethargic little tortoise.-

April 6, 2009

Korean for the Whole Family!

-Karalee, Dawson and Dave enjoying their first Kimchi Chigae.-

This past weekend we had the privilege of introducing my brother and his family to their first ever traditional Korean meal. And, seeing how we live in Red Deer, a small agricultural based city, we had to travel two hours south to Calgary to find an authentic Korean restaurant. So for the sixth time since being home Trev and I were able to sit down to a delicious dinner of Galbi (Korean BBQ), Bibimbop (mixed veggies and rice), dozens of side dishes and of course Korea's famous Kimchi Chigae(Fermented Chili Pepper Cabbage Soup).

-Dawson enjoying his Dak Guk (Chicken Soup).-

The meal was a hit. Dave and Karalee seemed to enjoy most everything, save the fish-cakes, while Dawson couldn't get enough and stuffed in whatever his little hand could get hold of. Becki accompanied and having visited us in Seoul enjoyed helping to introduce Dave, Karalee and Dawson to a little piece of Korean culture. It was a fun afternoon with great food and family and although it wasn't quite the same as sitting down for a meal in Seoul, it was a close as you can get in a prairie city.

-Dave learning the art of wrapping and eating Galbi (Korean BBQ).-

-Auntie Becki teaching Cooper how to drink Barley Tea.-

-Dawson was excited to try out chopsticks and for the most part did a great job. For kids his age in Korea chopsticks are the norm.-

Kimchi Chigae is said to be the fundamental ingredient to Korean culture itself. I've heard of it referred to as Korean cuisine at its finest, as a life saver, as a cancer-fighting agent. But one thing is for sure, Kimchi Chigae is essentially Korean. It is in every home, every belly and on every mind in Korea, local and foreigner alike. And so, if you are feeling adventurous (and you have access to Kimchi) here is a recipe for you. Don't be fooled by the name, it's truly delicious and slightly addicting.

Kimchi Chigae
(Fermented Chili Pepper Cabbage Soup)
-Delicious Kimchi Chigae boiling to perfection.-


1/2 lb Lean Pork
2-3 cups Sour Kimchi - cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup Juice from Kimchi
2 tsp Soy Sauce
4 cups Water (add or less to make a soup consistency)
1 dash Salt
2 tbsp Crushed Red Hot Peppers
2 Cloves Garlic

  1. Cut pork into thinly sliced bite sized chunks and brown.
  2. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir occasionally.
  4. Simmer until Kimchi is soft and serve over sticky white rice.
  5. Optional: Add soft tofu and chopped green onions 5 minutes before serving.